Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I am the Goddess of Tomato Death!


I order tomato plants. I go to my friend's wedding. I come back, and it was 105 degrees while I was gone. Tomato plants dead. Crispy. Yuck. Lost a billion seedlings, too. Despite eight separate plantings, not one calendula has survived. The Gods of face cream are rebelling. They don't want me to have this pretty stuff on my face so that my face will become a mite prettier. Bastards. My tarragon is gone! NOOOOOOOO! Took me eight months to find the damn thing to buy it (French Tarragon does not grow from seed. Gotta buy a plant)!

I sigh, start up more plantings (since ten of twelve tomato varieties are now deceased), and look for mature plants again, since I've now lost three to four growing months.

I order a few more plants from the same place, and drive all the way down to bloody Lomita to pick them up. This is the week that gas almost breaks the $5/gallon barrier. And it's at the other end of L.A. from me. Down the 405. Dear god, NO!

But I go. I buy plants. I transplant all of them. I make it back alive (barely). I buy locally several mints, a new tarragon, some lemon verbena, and rosemary.

Within 48 hours, the temperatures reach 116 degrees. I am away from my plants for 4.5 hours. They are crispy fried when I get back. All of the mint leaves are dry. All of them. The rosemary is black, the tarragon is brown.

The San Marzano isn't recovering well. The Black Plum is desperately trying to sprout new leaves, but I have more coming up, just in case. The Dona was much shorter and less leggy. It lost one big leaf, then another. It just might make it. The Hawaiian Currant is sprouting a few new leaves and some blossoms as well, but it's likely too stressed to fruit well. I'm just glad the new Sweet Pea Currant and Golden Grape varieties hadn't sprouted yet, so were therefore inside and not dead.

But still, I've managed to kill the cayenne pepper plant. Heck, every pepper plant I've started is dead. I just bought a 6-pack of habanero, just in case, and will return for jalapeno, poblano, and ornamentals. My seeds keep dying around week 4, and I don't have time to keep fooling around. Planting #4 of the rainbow bell pepper variety is also kaput, just like 1-3. #5 is at first-leaf stage. I'm not holding my breath.

Next year, I start in January, and I hope to hell I'm not living in the valley by then.

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